Posts in topic: community engagement


We may be apart, but we’re in this together

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I’m pretty sure that we can all agree that life and work don’t feel “normal” right now. Even as we unite as communities to “flatten the curve” and adopt social distancing routines, it’s hard for us to be apart from colleagues, friends, and our community. But there’s solace in knowing that our communities are protected by our combined effort and that we’re all in this together. I hope everyone reading this is healthy and safe.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had so many conversations with library colleagues that have amazed me. Even though the way that we’re supporting our communities may have radically changed, our conversations have felt remarkably “normal” in that they all have the same balance of professional responsibility and personal good humor that I’ve come to rely on, time and again, during my career.

You are all amazing. And your libraries do amazing things, which is why we put the OCLC Community Engagement Award out there—to hear more about them and spread the word. And it’s why we’re extending the nominating deadline from April 30 to May 31.

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Community engagement: Redefining the library as town square

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Libraries are evolving, leaning outside of our walls, connecting with our communities in new and powerful ways. Defining our “why” requires understanding how to shift our focus from books to people. Our purpose is to support people and their quality of life. While there may be many definitions, community engagement isn’t just about awareness, marketing, and sending staff out into the community. Community is at the center of everything. At Anythink, the public library system for Adams County, Colorado, it is at the heart of everything we do.

Like many libraries, our recent strategic planning research included a purposeful listening tour. We found that our community sees the library as its center, its connector. They asked for the library to become even more focused on creating community. As a result, we have adopted the concept of library as town square.

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